SIALKOT-No primary school is available for the children of 1,295 villages of Sialkot since the establishment of Pakistan thus a number of kids are out of schools as their parents are unable to afford exorbitant fees of private schools.

However, the kids from the rich families get education in the private schools which are out of the reach of the common men. District Education Authority CEO M Farooq and District Monitoring Officer (DMO) Aamir Raza said that there were a total of 2,962 government schools in Sialkot district 17 years ago. They said out of which, 500 Maktab Masjid Schools were closed down by the government while the buildings of 300 government schools were declared dangerous due to which 300 schools were merged in the nearby other government schools.

They added that the several government schools were handed over to Punjab Education Foundation (PEF) under the provincial government's police, due to which the number of total government schools has reduced to 2,006 from 2,962 in Sialkot district.

According to the Education Department officials, there are 76 government high schools in 596 villages of Sialkot, 54 in 250 villages of Daska, 61 in 597 villages of Pasrur and 32 schools in 156 villages of Sambrial tehsil.

The officials revealed that the number of the government schools in Sialkot district had remarkably reduced during the last 17 years from 3,962 to 2,006 schools in Sialkot district. During 2016, the Punjab government's special funds of Rs362 million as non-salary budget. The funds could not be released to the government schools due to changing of the system of local government.

The officials added that the total population of Sialkot district is 4.5 million. There are 430 govt boys primary schools and 1,043 govt girls primary schools in Sialkot district. But 1169 villages in Sialkot district have been deprived of the govt boys primary schools while 126 villages of Sialkot district have no govt primary school since the establishment of Pakistan, due to which thousands of children are forced to get education in the private schools.

Sialkot district has 29 government high secondary schools including 21 for girls and 8 for boys. These secondary schools are located at the far-flung areas due to which most of the boys and girls of the surrounding villages are unable to get education. Thus, only the girls from rich families could get education at the private educational institutions.

There are 16 govt higher secondary schools , 76 govt high schools, 103 middle schools and 465 govt primary schools for more than 2 million population in Sialkot tehsil; and six government higher secondary schools, 54 government high schools, 63 middle schools and 321 government primary schools for more than 1.1 million population of Daska tehsil. Likewise, there are three higher secondary schools, 32 high schools, 22 middle schools and 198 government primary schools for more than o.6 million population of Sambrial tehsil; and four government higher secondary schools, 61 high schools, 93 middle schools and 489 government primary schools for more than 0.8 million population of Pasrur tehsil.

A total of 14,085 boys students are enrolled in eight govt boys higher secondary schools in Sialkot district while 17,093 girl students in 20 govt girls higher secondary schools.

The officials said that the Punjab government was spending millions of rupees on repairing and reconstruction of new buildings of 100 dangerous schools besides releasing the special non-salary development funds of Rs370 million.

On the other hand, the number of private schools has increased to 6,000 in Sialkot district, said the Sialkot education department officials. They said that it was also worth mentioning that most of the teachers of government schools have already established their private schools and educational academies near and around the government schools due to which they were paying their full attention to their own schools and academies, besides forcing the students of the government schools to get tuition at their academies.

The teachers have established a tuition mafia in the government schools by using their complete influence and are minting money. Most of the teachers of government schools were recruited on political grounds during the past political regimes, due to which these teachers are often found absent from the government schools and present at their private schools and academies.

Several retired and serving senior educationists have expressed grave concern over the pathetic situation and poor state of affairs of the government schools. They urged Punjab Chief Minister Shehbaz Sharif to order audit of all the government schools in Sialkot district.